Reason for Referral:

in Family

Simon was referred for counseling by his brother. This is after he showed some signs of restlessness and irritability.  He was staying for long days without eating and rarely slept at night. Although he was in a local technical school, he had missed classes spending a lot of his time locked in their room and did not want to talk to family members and friends. It has become unbearable to stay with him in house as no one knew what he was suffering from.


Simon is a 27years African American male who is still a student in a community technical college.  He lives together with his family; two brothers aged 33 and 20, and one small sister aged 12 years, together with their mother.  Ever since their father passed way two years ago, Simon has never been the same happy-father's boy again.  He reports that he had had difficulties relating with the rest of the family members since they don't seem to understand him at all. He confides that he was close to his father and since he died, he has never found another person, even within the family who can understand him like his father did.

Simon is the second eldest child in the family. He has been the pillar of the family since his eldest brother resides in another state. When his mother goes to work, he has been left to take care of the family and since their mother has to work extra hours to provide for all, Simon is left with the burden of taking care of the family. He confides that he has found this burden too heavy for her to take together with his education.  Simon feels sorry for their mother since she has to take care of family responsibility and work overtime. His is angry with his elder brother since he does not assist the family in any way. With his little siblings looking upon him, he sometimes feels bad when he they ask for something they are used to but their mother cannot afford. In addition, he feels that his friends have all deserted him. He no longer has the money to go out with them like when his father was alive and he avoids them. He does not want to talk to them.


From initial evaluation, Simon presented symptoms of depression. His appeared disturbed and did not want to talk to anyone. His dressing suggested that he was somehow disturbed in mind.  His shirt was not well ironed and one side of the shirt was buttoned above the other. It was difficult to create a rapport with him and it took more than three orientation session to get him talk.  Every session he would lament how life as not fair and how their family was suffering since death of his father. At one time, he asked if there was anyone who loved him in the world. When asked if he though his family cared for him, he lamented not.

Therapeutic impressions:

Simon has many issues that need to be assessed in therapeutic lens.  He is suffering from isolation and family burden.  He appears stressed by the economic problem the family is facing the burden of his education. He seems generally unhappy with his life at home and in his relationships.

Further areas that should be explored:

Family disagreements

Lack of support system

Difficult in balancing education and life

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This article was published on 2011/05/17